Style: The Jewelry Everyone is Talking About at Cannes

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Maggie Gyllenhaal standing in front of a crowd: A behind-the-scenes look at Chopard jewelry on the red carpet at Cannes in 2021. © picture alliance - Getty Images A behind-the-scenes look at Chopard jewelry on the red carpet at Cannes in 2021.

After a year-long hiatus, celebrities returned to the Cannes Film Festival, and they were ready to party—and what’s a party without fabulous jewels? This year the buzz was all about the glamorous and surprisingly daring jewelry worn on the red carpet. One of the unexpected looks came from Maggie Gyllenhaal, a juror at this year’s festival who is known for her expressive style. She opted to wear a single huge Chopard diamond hoop earring high on her ear, with a matching 43-carat diamond necklace. Jessica Chastain also appeared in a Chopard necklace, which was set with more than 100 carats of ruby hearts, along with a big heart-shaped ruby ring, and Bella Hadid turned heads in the jeweler’s mega pear-shaped diamond earrings and several big diamond and ruby rings—because more is more.

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Even low-key actresses such as Jodi Foster couldn’t resist glamorous jewels; she wore earrings with 22-carats of pear-shaped diamonds and a 10-carat diamond ring, both from Chopard.

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Chopard’s Jewelry Hangout in Cannes

Chopard has been the official sponsor of the festival for the past 24 years, so celebrities regularly rely on the house for arresting red carpet jewels at the event. During the two-week festival, the jeweler takes over the rooftop at the Martinez Hotel and transforms it into a private club overlooking the Croisette with high-profile visiting chefs and DJs, and intimate jewelry viewing rooms. Last Friday, Jessica Chastain stopped by and asked for jewels to go with her green evening gown, and she left wearing a multicolor amethyst, Paraiba tourmaline, emerald, and sapphire bracelet. Similarly, Paz Vega came to scout for the right piece for her black and white look. She spotted an elaborate collar featuring a parade of black and white diamond dogs made with over 9,000 stones and Tahitian pearls, and simply had to wear it to a party that night.

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Jessica Chastain et al. posing for the camera: Caroline Scheufele and Jessica Chastain © Courtesy of Chopard Caroline Scheufele and Jessica Chastain

They were just a few of the many celebrities at the 20th annual Trophée Chopard, an event for 150 people hosted by Chopard’s co-president and creative director Caroline Scheufele, which honors emerging talent. This year, the trophy’s godmother Jessica Chastian presented the award to British actor Kingsley Ben-Adir, who starred as Malcom X in One Night in Miami and Irish actress Jessie Buckley, whose film credits include Judy. Guests included past recipients Adrien Brody and the aforementioned Vegas, along with Spike Lee, Mélanie Laurent, and Tahar Rahim, and French singer Clara Luciani performed. For Schuefele, the award is a way to “shine a spotlight on young rising talent.”

These glamorous red-carpet moments underscore the longstanding relationship between Chopard and celebrities. After nearly 25 years sponsoring the festival, Chopard has become a go-to source for names like Marion Cotillard, who designed a capsule collection for the brand in 2020 using sustainable materials and fairmined gold. She’s among a group of stars who rely on the brand for singular pieces, and often, they are styling them in their own unique way. A few years back, Cotillard also opted for the one earring style with a new asymmetrical hair style. It gave Schuefele a scare when she spotted the actress on the red-carpet in just one earring. “I thought she lost a big diamond earring, and I would have to crawl on the floor to find it,” Schuefele laughed.

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Jewels to Make You Dream

Like the films at Cannes, Chopard’s new Paradise high jewelry collection is designed to inspire dreams. “The cinema is about escapism,” explains Schuefele, whose lifelong passion for films prompted the company’s partnership with Cannes. “When you watch a movie, you are transported to another world for two hours, and jewelry can transport you, too.” The 74-piece collection (a number which symbolically marks the festival’s 74th year), features important gemstones and diamonds, and pieces inspired by flora, fauna, and the water.

One of the standout jewels is an incredibly rare 32-carat fancy vivid yellow diamond that is set on two strands of yellow diamonds totaling 61 carats, and can be worn short, long, or as a double chain. “The stones are so beautiful, so I wanted to keep the design minimalist,” says Scheufele. Another dazzling cuff features gems in every color in the rainbow, which are meticulously arranged in paisley patterns. Two rings exude the spirit of fantasy: an exceptional 26-carat black opal looks like a fairy-tale set with yellow sapphires an tiny titanium flowers tinted in blue and purple, and a large blue titanium ring in the shape of wave is appointed with a Paraiba tourmaline.

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The red carpet also inspires new themes and innovations. When Schuefele noticed that some actresses struggled with heavy earrings, she turned to titanium to create large-scale designs that are as light as a feather.

Paz Vega wearing a costume posing for the camera: Paz Vega in Chopard. © Arnold Jerocki - Getty Images Paz Vega in Chopard.

One of the house’s most meaningful initiatives was prompted by a chance encounter with Livia Firth, who was married to actor Colin Firth at the time and plays an active role in bringing attention to sustainable and ethical sourcing in fashion. When Firth asked Schuefele where she sources her gold, she couldn’t answer. “Right then we started looking into fairmined gold, and now all of the gold used in our jewelry and watches is fairmined.” Even the festival’s famous Palme d’or trophy, given to the best film, and the mini Palme, for the best short film, were designed by Schuefele and are made in fairmined certified gold at the company’s workshops.

What’s next for Chopard at Cannes? Schuefele says she looks forward to another 20 years as a partner. “The beauty of Cannes is that each edition is different because there are always new people, new projects, and new ideas.”

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Louis Pisano documents his star turn in a Mugler gown at the storied French film festival. “Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in,” the doctors intone as Marion Cotillard gives birth to the titular character in Leo Carax’s latest film, Annette. It’s advice I could use if not for the two corsets I’m strapped into under my Mugler look. It’s opening night at the Cannes Film Festival and I have just walked the red carpet, with no pants on. Now you probably have a few questions, so let’s rewind to 96 hours prior. It’s a hot Friday afternoon in Paris, but it’s not the heat that has me sweating.

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